What makes Michael Jordan the best in the history of basketball?

I would revise it to mean history of NBA, not basketball. And even then I don’t think its that clear cut. Michael Jordan is the greatest of all time (GOAT) to most people because he’s a winner (6 championships, no losses in the finals), he’s super competitive, he has 5 MVPs (most out of any guard), he plays in a way that makes him electrifying to watch with lots of high flying dunks and clutch plays, he has the most awards out of any player in the modern era (6 Finals MVPs in addition to the stuff above and 10 scoring titles , DPOY, etc). Plus because people love scoring so much, he’s the penultimate scorer. The highest scoring average in NBA history both in regular season and playoffs. The most complete guard ever. Marketing wise no one else compares, Jordan earns millions a year despite the fact that he’s been retired for over 10 years. He’s the most famous basketball player still to this day.
That makes him an easy choice for GOAT for the majority of people.

There’s 4 other players that could possibly be considered the GOAT though this is for the minority of people:

Wilt Chamberlain – numerous unbroken records, most average rebounds a game, most rebounds all time, led league in assists once, rebounds 11 times, scoring 7 times, FG% several times, averaged 45 minutes a game, 100 points in a game, averaged 50 points and 25 rebounds a game before, etc. For pure statistical dominance, Wilt is at the top.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – all time NBA leading scorer, consistently great for 20 years, 6 rings, 6 MVPs, 2 Finals MVPs 14 years apart, 3rd in rebounds and blocks. He has the championship pedigree of Jordan and stats that are not quite Wilt-like but close to it.

Bill Russell – the consummate winner. 11 rings in 13 seasons. 5 MVPs. The greatest defensive player ever. the first african-american coach. The first black superstar in the league. One of the greatest teammates you can ever have. The thing that holds Russell back is his lack of offense, so he can’t really be called a ‘complete’ player like the other guys on this list.

Lebron James – modern era dominance, 8 Finals in a row, makes whatever team he’s on championship calibre, has a ridiculously long prime (pretty much the same as Jordan his entire career is his prime), excels in every category scoring rebounding assists etc. 4 MVPs, 3 rings, 3 finals mvps. The only thing that prevents Lebron from being the GOAT I think is his amount of awards that still trails Jordan. Stats wise you could make arguments that he’s surpassed Jordan in several areas already, but the amount of rings and other awards just aren’t there yet.

So yes to the majority of people, Jordan is the GOAT. the other guys are too old for this generation, weren’t marketed back in their time, and Lebron hasn’t matched up to Jordan in the key category of championships.

What are some rare pictures of NBA players?

Wilt reaching up to block Kareem’s skyhook

Garnett vs Magic

Vince Carter and Hakeem

Lebron vs Karl Malone

Dirk and Rodman

Stockton and Yao

Curry vs Iverson

Magic vs Shaq

Lebron and Shaq

Connie Hawkins with the Lakers

Pete Maravich with the Celtics

Kobe vs Jordan

Rick Barry playing with the Rockets

Kareem, Russell and Muhammed Ali

Shaq, Pierce, Allen, Rondo and Garnett

Barkley, Pippen and Hakeem

Kobe, Gasol, Dwight, Nash

Iverson and Melo

Malone, Kobe, Shaq and Payton

Ewing with the Supersonics

Bob McAdoo with the Lakers

Dominique Wilkins as a Celtic

Larry bird with Pete Maravich

Dave Cowens with the Bucks

Moses Malone with the Spurs

George Gervin on the Jordan Bulls

Artis Gilmore on the Bulls

George McGinnis on the 76ers with Dr J

Mel Daniels, the first Pacers superstar

George Mikan grabbing a rebound

Bob Cousy and Bill Sharman holding each other

Marques Johnson and Bob Lanier

Adrian Dantley on the Bad Boy Pistons

Nate Thurmond battling Kareem

Walt Frazier against Earl Monroe

Willis Reed vs Wes Unseld

Elgin Baylor goes over a young John Havlicek with a hook shot

Bill Walton tries to stop Kareem’s Skyhook

Dolph Schayes going for a dunk

Jason Kidd vs Steve Nash

Tim Duncan vs Garnett

Jerry West vs Oscar Robertson

Bob Pettit going for a layup

Tiny Archibald throws a pass to Larry Bird

Who is the greatest all-time NBA trend changer?

Here’s my take for most influential NBA players

George Mikan – credited for numerous NBA rule changes like the shot clock, goaltending, etc the first NBA superstar

Bill Russell – the first black superstar in the NBA, and the first black coach in American sports history

Wilt Chamberlain – also caused rule changes in the NBA, like you can’t dunk from free throw line for example

Oscar Robertson – the Oscar Robertson lawsuit led to higher salaries for all NBA players

Julius Erving – The main reason why the NBA decided to absorb the ABA was for this man, and he elevated dunking or “slam” dunking to a respected move whereas before it was looked down upon

Rick Barry – Rick Barry’s decision to sit out instead of play for the SF Warriors led to free agent contract changes in the NBA; now free agents have much less restrictive terms

Spencer Haywood – Spencer Haywood caused the NBA to changed which players can be drafted after high school; previously you had to go through 4 years of college before being drafted, but now you can be drafted right after high school, like Moses Malone (and later Kevin Garnett and others) did. It’s likely that Kobe and Lebron’s careers would be different if they were forced to play 4 years of college.

Larry Bird / Magic Johnson – “Saved the NBA”. The NBA had a drug problem in the 1970s and was seen as a black person’s game, didn’t get good ratings and the Finals were on tape delay. Bird and Magic revived the sport in America.

Michael Jordan – took the NBA global. Magic/Bird saved it in America, and Jordan took it international.

Stephen Curry is the poster child of the new NBA era – which is all about 3 point shots. Gone are traditional centers, gone are traditional midrange shots, now everyone plays small ball and shoots 3 pointers.